‘Exceptional’ Service Award for RC Dundalk

Gay Berkery and Fergus McArdle, Dundalk Rotary Club
Gay Berkery and Fergus McArdle, Dundalk Rotary Club

Dundalk Rotary Club has won the Exceptional Community Service award at the recent Rotary conference in Bournemouth, England, for the huge contribution made by the club in providing Meals on Wheels for the community in Dundalk was rightly recognised.
With more than 1,800 Rotary clubs in Ireland and Britain, competition was stiff for this award and the Dundalk club was delighted to be selected as winners. In fact, it is the first time that a Rotary club from Ireland has won this award at the RIBI conference.
Dundalk Rotary Club member Fergus McArdle prepared the submission for the award, working extensively on detailing the impact of the Meals on Wheels initiative, which started by delivering a hot meal to up to 80 older people each Monday for over 50 years.
In that time, Mr McArdle has calculated that 190,000 meals have been served, with 97,500 hours spent serving the community. The cost, in 2016 terms, is estimated to be over €1 million.
The success of the initiative inspired the establishment of the Dundalk Official Services who expanded the Rotarians’ efforts and provided meals on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The award was presented to past president Gay Berkery by the past district governor Declan Tyner.
In addition, the club also won the ‘Irwin Trophy’ for best achievements in community service among 72 Rotary clubs in Ireland. This award was presented at the annual conference in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, recently.

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